Northern Pike - Small Lake Techniques

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Instructor: Cory Allen

Small pond pike fishing is an easy introduction to esox, but requires experience and insight. This In The Spread video teaches breaking down bites for efficiency and targeting larger sizes, focusing on lures, presentation theory, gear, and pike behavior in these environments.

Description / Review / Instructor


  • Location: Small lakes in Wisconsin (100-200 acres).
  • Key Insight: Lakes with moving water (interconnected by creeks and rivers) have better fish populations.
  • Reason: The introduction of current increases a lake's capacity to support big fish.
  • Video Highlight: Cory Allen and Steve Mortenson demonstrate pike fishing in a small lake near Oshkosh.
  • Scouting Tip: Use Google Earth to find potential fishing spots.
  • Ideal Depth: 6-8 feet for 200-acre lakes, 10-20 feet for 100-acre lakes.
  • Tactics: Presentation and retrieval cadence for lures is crucial.
  • Pike Traits: They are voracious ambush predators, often affecting other fish populations.
  • Pro Tip: Look for currents for a steady food supply.
  • Expert Spotlight: Steve Mortenson's techniques and Cory Allen's probing questions provide a comprehensive guide.

Northern Pike Fishing Hidden Lakes

Some of the most exceptional northern pike fishing experiences in Wisconsin are found not in the sprawling waters, but in small, inconspicuous lakes. These are intimate bodies of water, typically ranging from 100 to 200 acres. Within this expanse, you can discover hidden treasures: lakes teeming with a vibrant population of northern pike.

Why Small Lakes?

What's unique about these smaller lakes? The key is in finding a gem of a lake, ideally one with a current.

Given the limited size and class of fish a small body of water can accommodate, moving water becomes a crucial factor. A plethora of these lakes are interconnected with creeks and rivers, facilitating greater forage. But here's the game-changer: introducing current. This element can transform a lake's capacity, enabling these compact lakes to not just sustain, but also nurture and grow large fish across species.

In The Spread: A Small Lake Pike Fishing Insight

In a captivating episode of In The Spread, Cory Allen collaborates with local expert Steve Mortenson to reveal the art of fishing in a farm lake located a stone's throw away from an interstate near Oshkosh, especially during the fall season.

While we had the privilege of insights from a local guide, these aquatic sanctuaries can be located with some patience on Google Earth. Curious about how to pinpoint them? Start by scouting around your locality for diminutive lakes. If you're looking at a 200-acre water body, ideal depths hover around 6-8 feet. On the other hand, for 100-acre waters, aim for depths between 10-20 feet. Armed with the tips from this video, you'll likely land some impressive pike.

Despite the lack of depth or significant structure in our chosen spot, save for the bank edge and weeds, fishing here requires a meticulous approach. The process is akin to prospecting: patiently exploring to locate fish. But the silver lining? The area is compact and can be covered swiftly. Dive into Steve's methodology, from understanding which lures are his go-to for fall pike fishing, to whether color plays a role, and the optimal number of pike lures for a fruitful fishing session. The video promises a comprehensive guide on mastering small lake tactics.

The Allure of the Northern Pike

The northern pike stands out as one of North America's fiercest freshwater predators. Many anglers view this gamefish with mixed feelings. How often has a bass, seemingly on the brink of being reeled in, faced the wrath of a pike? However, for a select few, this is the ultimate catch. Laden with sharp teeth, this predator promises exhilarating sporting moments. In restricted spaces, pikes can sometimes out-eat their growth potential. A limited diet equals limited growth. Hence, ensuring a current in your chosen lake is essential. This provides a consistent influx of food, ensuring a healthy growth trajectory for the pike.

Steve Mortenson, infected with 'pike fever', showcases his tried and tested methods for landing these creatures. While his approach is personal, its effectiveness is undeniable. As you soak in the wisdom he imparts, Cory Allen, a maestro in southern muskie fishing, offers a fresh perspective on the ecosystem of the lake and its role in nurturing the northern pike. Cory's strategic acumen shines throughout, ensuring Steve remains on his toes.

Embark on this enlightening voyage across one of Wisconsin's prized small lakes, as we unravel the secrets to fall pike fishing. Remember, knowledge is power, and in this context, more fish! Stay curious, and never cease to learn.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: Why are small lakes in Wisconsin ideal for northern pike fishing?

A: Small nondescript lakes in Wisconsin, especially those in the 100-200 acre range, often house healthy populations of northern pike fish. The presence of moving water through interconnected creeks and rivers magnifies the lake's ability to support larger fish populations.

Q: What is the significance of moving water in these lakes?
A: Moving water introduces more forage into the lakes. The current boosts the lake's carrying capacity, allowing these small bodies of water to manage and grow bigger fish of various species.

Q: How can I find such lakes?
A: You can utilize Google Earth to scout for potential fishing spots. Look for smaller lakes in your vicinity and then physically scout them.

Q: What are the preferred depths for fishing in these lakes?
A: For lakes around 200 acres, the ideal depth is 6-8 feet. In 100-acre waters, aim for depths of 10-20 feet.

Q: Are there any expert tips available for pike fishing?
A: Yes, in the shared video, Steve Mortenson, a pike fishing expert, teams up with Cory Allen to discuss tactics, lure preferences, and the significance of presentation and retrieval cadence.

Q: Why is northern pike considered a prize for some anglers?
A: Northern pike are aggressive ambush predators. Their sharp teeth and aggressive nature make them a thrilling catch for anglers.

Q: How does the ecosystem of the lake support northern pike?
A: The presence of a current, which brings a steady supply of food, combined with the right depth and structure, creates an ideal environment for northern pike to thrive.

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Cory Allen

Cory Allen, known as the Tennessee Muskie Authority, has years of expertise in muskie fishing. He is a skilled guide in the Tennessee River drainage basin, specializing in understanding muskellunge behavior and environmental conditions. Allen's dedication to his craft and continuous learning make him a valuable resource for both seasoned and novice anglers.

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